Today I though of using points for hotel booking and I was surprised to see such a low conversion rate 75,000 points for less than $125. I felt very disappointed and I don't know if this can be fixed. I am disappointed that I have been loyal to marriot and ultimately this loyalty means nothing. I am an business traveler and I might start looking into some other options as well. Cant believe these points worth nothing.
I know the comparisons that have been made with Starwood shows Starwood to have far better point conversion . Since the reward levels don't take into consideration seasonal price differences you will fine the conversion better if you can get a room in what ever Marriott you are looking at in high season
I agree with jerryl. You have to keep in mind not just the seasonal price differences but other factors that can make a Cat 5 hotel (for example) in one city on one date twice as expensive (or half as expensive) as the same Cat hotel in a different city and/or different date.
Example: I just looked at JWM in Bangkok. 60,000 points for 2 nights. $300 if you book regular without any discounted rate. And that is when they are having a Songkran sale. $360 would be the normal for 2 nights.
So, depending on when and where I just found one that has twice the conversion rate that you are looking at. Dates, locations, etc. all have a big impact.
vtnashville, I understand that you needed to make your post to vent your frustration with the points to dollars, your example does see quite low on return. What was the specific hotel and date?
Regardless of the points-cash conversion rate, I really see no logic in using points in this case... I think points ought to be used only when you encounter a very high rate per night, thus saving yourself a significant amount of money.
What's wrong with paying $69/night at the Fairfield Inn or even $124/night at the Residence Inn (if those are the hotel types you're after)? These aren't considered as high rates, and you'd be better in paying for your stay and accumulate more points for the future.
Points redemption value depends on the location, the time of year etc etc. As peymanagement says, a hotel price can vary no end at different times of the year, but the points needed are the same.
I have a rewards booking coming up at West India Quay, London. Expensive hotel of course as it is London. The cheapest rate for a standard room at the time I am going is £254 per night or approx $355. The points cost is 35,000 per night.
As I have booked 5 nights, so only have to use 4 nights points, a room that would cost approx $1,775 is 140,000 points. I call that a good deal.
HI vtnashville. Wow, if you were correct that would make what you found the very WORST redemption value in any scheme. I can see why you've posted this. Thankfully all is not as it seems.
As others have pointed out, the 75,000 points is for your entire 3-night stay. The $124 is the price of the cheapest night for the cheapest room on advance rates without the tax. The redemption is for a suite, not a studio, and is cancellable. The comparable cancellable rate for the 3 nights is $490 inc the tax.
So, no. Not $124 for 75,000 points (0.16 UScents per point - cpp) but in fact $490 for 75,000 points, a still not stellar 0.65cpp
Even at that rate this is a poor value redemption. If your plans are not going to change you can go for the advance purchase at $460 for the suite, or make do with the studio at $410 for the stay.
The secret of this game is to redeem when the price is advantageous by deciding on a cpp rate you'll redeem at and ensure you consider redeeming on all future leisure searches using cash when the points don't reach their minimum value.
Now you could fix a minimum value at 2cpp and I have redeemed at that rate in Monaco, Paris, London and Moscow but I don't go to these places all the time so really couldn't set that rate. I have redeemed a Travel Package for 360,000 points using it for my first class flights and 7 nights at the South Beach Stanton (we fly out in 2 weeks) worth a total of $7,500, that's 2.1cpp but only really worth that if you want to travel first class, as with all miles, the most bang for the buck comes from first class! We are doing this for our belated honeymoon, neither of us would ever pay first class otherwise!
My limit is never to redeem below 1cpp and always redeem above 1.5cpp and in between, well "thar be dragons". If I have a big points balance then I'll redeem below the 1.5cpp, if it's for a second room I'll redeem below 1.5cpp, In reality most of my redemptions have been between 1-1.5cpp.
Last year I took my family, me, the missus and our 4 teenagers on the Roadtrip of a lifetime visiting Oakville, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, the Adirondacks, Albany, NYC, DC, small town Pennsylvania and Niagara Falls. I redeemed some Marriotts, some IHG and paid some cash where redemption values were poor, see Monthlong Vacation - Eastern Canada and USA for full details, a post near the end goes through the redemption numbers and cpp. To summarise however we redeemed 3 Marriott rooms for 2 nights in Ottawa, 3rooms for 1 night in Albany, 2 rooms for 2 nights in NYC and 1 each in Oakville and Toronto worth $5,150, redeeming 405,000 points in total for an average of 1.3cpp, the smallest redemption was for one night at only 10,000 points saving $120, the biggest was NYC Marquis for 90,000 points each room for 2 nights saving $1,200 per room. Note, in keeping with my valuation criteria I managed to pick up the last night of my Marquis stay for only $240 so what was originally a 3 night all-redemption whilst remaining 3 nights long became 2-redemption nights and 1 paid night.
The important point to note about our family roadtrip was that there were no 5-night stays, it was all US and Canada, and the dates were not fixed around redemptions, they were fixed around the logicality of the trip, so it does show very clearly that redemptions above 1cpp are easily and commonly acheivable. You just need to check for both redemption and cash options whenever you travel for leisure, and they'll come.
You nailed it brightlybob Always look for the value before using points. OK, I know I don't travel too far nowadays, but I use 2 hotels in the UK a great deal. York and West India Quay. Both in tourist areas; both the same category. BUT I can get a standard room at York for less than half the cost of WIQ. So what do I do? Pay for York, build up my points, and redeem them at WIQ.
Yes, you can find a room for $125 that might have cost you 75,000 points, but that is meaningless. (It works out to .6 cents per point) You can also find a room for five nights at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (starting tonight) for $1,500 that is available for 120,000 points (This works out to 1.25 cents per point or more than double the rate in your example!)
You should value your points at the best exchange rate that you can find and use!
Rates in points are constant at any given hotel, while cash rates vary from day to day You need to consider this fact and not value the entire program on one hotel at one given moment in time!